In an unprecedented joint communique the Academy of Doctors of Audiology® (ADA), the American Academy of Audiology (the Academy) and the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) delivered a statement focusing on consumer needs in the delivery models of hearing health care and recognizing the changing face of the hearing health care environment.
The Hearing Loss Association of America applauds ADA, the Academy, and ASHA for joining HLAA in supporting consumer needs and setting a path for audiologists to evaluate how their practices will respond to and work in a new hearing health care delivery system.
The statement echoes and reinforces HLAA's long-standing campaign for accessible and affordable hearing healthcare through itemization, price transparency, and audiology services beyond the sale of hearing aids, including aural rehabilitation counseling and information about assistive listening and alerting devices. HLAA also supports consumer options in designing hearing health care to include family participation and education, measuring consumer satisfaction, and providing options for serving consumers who bought their hearing aids from another source such as the Internet. In addition, HLAA encourages audiologists to enlist the support of trained peer mentors.
Brenda Battat, executive director of the Hearing Loss Association of America said, "This is a watershed event for consumers. It validates HLAA's policy on accessible and affordable hearing health care. Now it's up to individual audiologists to show they are part of the shift to consumer-driven hearing health care."
Diana Bender, president of HLAA's Board of Trustees added, "We are thrilled to see that the three national professional organizations for audiologists are working together to ensure their members get the news that hearing healthcare needs to be accessible, affordable and available to a far wider number of consumers."
This joint letter is a tremendous first step. HLAA looks forward to collaborating with audiologists, audiology organizations and hearing aid manufacturers to provide consumers more hearing health care options.